The papers of painter and teacher Frank Duveneck and his wife and painter Elizabeth Boott Duveneck measure 1.2 linear feet and date from 1851-1972, bulk 1851-1919. Aspects of the lives and work of the artists are documented in correspondence, creative writings, research notes, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, ephemera, sketches and sketchbooks, and vintage photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and teacher Frank Duveneck and his wife, painter Elizabeth Boott Duveneck measure 1.2 linear feet and date from 1851-1972, bulk 1851-1919. Aspects of the lives and work of the artists are documented in correspondence, creative writings, research notes, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, ephemera, sketches and sketchbooks, and vintage photographs.
The limited amount of correspondence in this collection includes separate letters from Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Duveneck, primarily to family members, which describe studies and travel abroad, works in progress, exhibitions, and after their marriage, reports on family life. Frank Duveneck's correspondence also includes a letter from sculptor William Couper concerning the marble for a memorial to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck. There is also a folder of letters to and from Mr. and Mrs. Francis B. Duvencek, the son and daughter-in-law of the artist couple, that include reminiscences about Frank Duveneck from former student Bessie Wessel and a letter to Francis Duveneck from Daniel Chester French requesting permission to make a bronze from the plaster cast of the Duveneck's effigy of Elizabeth at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Writings include Elizabeth Boott Duveneck's diary, a typescript of a speech attributed to Frank Duveneck, and research notes compiled by daughter-in-law Josephine Duveneck in preparation for her biography of her father-in-law.
Printed materials consist primarily of newspaper clippings and magazine articles on Frank Duveneck, but also include his Munich Royal Academy card and copy certificate from the Ministry of Florence, Italy. Newspaper clippings may also be found in the Scrapbook series, including Elizabeth Boott Duveneck's scrapbook of exhibition reviews of her paintings, and two folders of clippings pertaining to Frank Duveneck compiled by Josephine Duveneck. Frank Duveneck's scrapbook contains printed illustrations compiled by the artist while he was studying art in Munich.
Sketchbooks and sketches consist of four sketchbooks by Elizabeth Boott Duvenck and three by Frank Duveneck that document their growth as artists as they span several decades (particularly in the case of Elizabeth) of their respective careers. There are also two folders of loose, mostly early, portrait sketches by Elizabeth Boott Duveneck.
Vintage photographs depict Frank Duveneck alone, with family and friends, Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, Francis Boott with his daughter, John Twachtman, art classes including one of Wilhelm von Diez's classes in Munich, and a group photograph of the jury of the 1915 Panama-Pacific exposition. There is only one photograph that includes both Frank and Elizabeth Duveneck together along with her father Francis Boott and nurse Ann Shenston.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1856-1971 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 2: Writings and Notes, circa 1873-1970 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1871-1972 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1871-1962 (Box 1; 4 folders)
Series 5: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1857-1886 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1851-1970 (Boxes 1-2; 0.4 linear feet)
Painter, etcher, and one of the most influential American art instructors of the nineteenth century, Frank Duveneck was born Frank Decker to German immigrants Bernard and Katherine Decker on October 9, 1848 in Covington, Kentucky. He acquired the name Duveneck from his stepfather after his father's death and mother's remarriage. Family and friends recognized his artistic talents early on and he was apprenticed to local German artisans who decorated churches through most of the 1860s. In 1870 he traveled to Munich to study at the prestigious Konigliche Akademie (Royal Academy), where he was quickly promoted to life classes and the painting class of Wilhelm von Diez. He quickly earned a reputation as the leading American artist in the Academy. Duveneck was only 24 in 1872 when painted one of his most well-known paintings, Whistling Boy.
Due to dwindling funds and a cholera epidemic in Europe, Duveneck returned to the United States in 1873 and began teaching at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati the following year, where John H. Twachtman was among his students. An 1875 exhibition of his paintings at the Boston Art Club met with critical and public acclaim. He also attracted the attention of William Morris Hunt, novelist Henry James, and his future wife, Elizabeth Boott, who was one among those who deeply admired his work, although the pair were not to meet for another three years. After his return to Munich later that year, he became part of a tightly knit group of other American artists including Frank Currier, William Merritt Chase, and Walter Shirlaw. All four artists exhibited their work in the United States in such venues as the National Academy of Design's annual exhibition of 1877, and the first exhibition of the Society of American Artists in 1878, which may have contributed to the increased popularity of the Royal Academy in Munich as a destination for young American artists. As enrollment rose, classes became overcrowded and Duveneck began teaching in Munich. A group of younger students, including John Alexander, and John H. Twachtman, who had followed the artist from Cincinnati to Munich, became known as the "Duveneck Boys." He also had acquired a private female student, Elizabeth Boott, who had traveled to Munich to study with him.
The painter Elizabeth Boott, known primarily as "Lizzie," was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 13, 1846 and was raised by her widowed father, the prominent Bostonian Francis Boott. The pair moved to Florence, Italy, when Lizzie was just a year old, after the death of her mother and brother from tuberculosis. Similar to Duveneck, Lizzie Boott's talent for drawing was recognized and encouraged at an early age. Early drawings preserved by her father consist of portraits of their well-known Anglo-American friends including Robert Browning, Nathanial Hawthorne, and Henry Higginson, founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Bootts briefly returned to Boston in 1865, at which time Lizzie met the novelist Henry James, who became a close life-long friend of both her and her father. Through James, she learned of the artist William Morris Hunt, and entered his class in Boston for women artists. She established close friendships with several of the women whom she met through Hunt's class, and they traveled together through Italy and Spain, took classes with the French artist Thomas Couture, and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. They also made up the group of female students that formed a class of women artists taught by Duveneck, whom Lizzie had persuaded to teach in Florence in 1879. Duveneck, along with a band of "Duveneck Boys" embarked upon a two year stay in Florence and Venice.
During this period in Italy, Duveneck experimented with with hard ground etchings, creating Venetian scenes similar to those produced by James McNeil Whistler. His painting changed as he focused more on landscapes executed in a ligher, more highly keyed palette, perhaps influenced by Lizzie Boott, who painted vibrant watercolor Italian landscapes during this period and with whom he began an extended courtship in 1880. Although Francis Boott admired Duveneck's work and had acquired one his portraits during the artist's successful 1875 exhibition at the Boston Arts Club, neither he nor family friends approved of the bohemian artist as a husband for his accomplished patrician daughter. However the pair eventually married in March 1886, and had a son, Francis Boott Duveneck that December. Tragically, Lizzie Boott died of pneumonia on March 22, 1888. Although he was not a sculptor, one of Duvenecks' most admired works is the effigy that he created with the help of sculptor Clement J. Barnhorn, for his wife's tomb in Florence, casts of which may be viewed at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
After his wife's death Duveneck returned to America, spending most of his time in his Cincinnati studio and teaching painting classes at the Cincinnati Art Museum. At the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, two galleries at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, were allotted to Duveneck for a retrospective of his work. The jury awarded him a gold medal of honor to commemorate his contributions to American Art. Frank Duveneck died in Cincinnati on January 3, 1919.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 792 includes a group of eighty-four pencil sketches and caricatures of his students by Frank Duveneck and four black and white photographic reproductions of works of art. Reel 1097 contains correspondence, 1845-1919, of Duveneck and his wife, Elizabeth Boott Duveneck. Included are two letters from Duveneck to Theodore Wores and seven letters from Julius Rolshoven. Other correspondents include John W. Beatty, William Couper, Daniel Chester French, Mrs. Walter Shirlaw, and Thad Welch. Many of the letters from Elizabeth Boott were written from Europe, including 11 to William Morris Hunt's painting class (1876-1880), and a lengthy account of her travels written to her father (1881). Reel 1151 contains exhibition catalogs that were donated to the Archives of American Art with the Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck papers. While this material was transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Gallery Library in 1976, all other materials were returned to the lenders and are not described in the collection container inventory.
The papers of Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Francis B. Duveneck, the son and daughter-in-law of Frank and Elizabeth Duveneck in 1974 with additional material lent for microfilming. In 1974, the Cincinnati Historical Society donated photocopies of original letters that were microfilmed and discarded. A portrait photograph of Frank Duveneck was donated in 1985 by Freda Schutze.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 -- Photographs Search this
13.3 Linear feet
Japan -- Description and Travel
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997 and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997, and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.
Correspondence documents Schaeffer's personal and professional activities as well as the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design. Subject files contain various combinations of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and drawings reflecting Schaeffer's activities, projects, and interests. Within the subject files is correspondence with artists, including Mark Tobey. Extensive writings include manuscripts for published and unpublished articles and drafts, notes, and manuscripts of several unpublished books including Collected Lectures of Rudolph Schaeffer on Color and Design, Color and Design, Prismatic Color Theory, and Rhythmo-Chromatics, all undated. Diaries include a volume recording Schaeffer's 1936 trip to Japan. 42 volumes of journals, compiled between 1954 and 1987, contain entries on a wide range of subjects including lists of errands, invitation lists, class notes, drafts of letters, notes including staff assignments and staff meetings, autobiographical notes and reminiscences, and musings on religion and philosophy.
The Artwork series houses artwork by Schaeffer and his students. Found are hand-made Christmas cards, designs, sketches, and sketchbooks. Seven scrapbooks document Rudolph Schaeffer's career, his school and former students, and the San Francisco art scene. They contain printed material, photographs, letters, and a small amount of artwork. Volume 3 is devoted to East West Gallery, and volume 7 documents Rudolph Schaeffer's 90th Birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.
Most untranscribed sound recordings (audio cassettes and reels) are of lectures by Schaeffer and others delivered at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.
Miscellaneous records includes a series of hand-baticked fabric samples from the Wiener Werkstatte, as well as transcripts of an oral history with Schaeffer and other interviews.
Printed material concerns the career of Rudolph Schaeffer, his school and former students, the San Francisco art scene, and general art topics. Included are articles and a book by Schaeffer, catalogs and other items produced by the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and miscellaneous items about or mentioning Schaeffer and his school. Items of note are announcements of courses taught by Schaeffer in Piedmont and San Francisco prior to the opening of his school, and theatre programs from productions with sets and some costumes designed by Schaeffer in the early 1920s.
Photographs are of artwork, people, places, events, stage designs, and miscellaneous subjects. Artwork includes some designs by Rudolph Schaeffer; people include Schaeffer, his family, friends, and students. Of particular note are a photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright's visit to the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and one of Rudolph Schaeffer and Imogen Cunningham. Places include interior and exterior views of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design at its St. Anne Street and Mariposa Street locations. Also included are photographs by Ansel Adams of the home of Ed and Caroline Fey.
The collection is arranged as 10 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1900-1988 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1989 (Box 1, 19; 0.5 linear ft.)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1907-1988 (Boxes 1-2, OV 16; 1.3 linear ft.)
Series 4: Writings, circa 1910-1987 (Boxes 2-6, 15, 19, 21; 4.2 linear ft.)
Series 5: Artwork, 1911-1957 (Boxes 6-15, 19, 21 OV 17; 0.6 linear ft.)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1933-1976 (Boxes 6, 14, 19; 0.6 linear ft.)
Series 7: Sound Recordings, 1949-1986 (Boxes 11-13; 1.2 linear ft.)
Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, 1905-1986 (Box 7, 19, 22; 0.8 linear ft.)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1906-1994 (Boxes 7-8, 15, 19, 22; 1.2 linear ft.)
Series 10: Photographs, 1880s-circa 1988 (Boxes 8-10,15, 20, 22, OV 18; 1.8 linear ft.)
Rudolph Schaeffer (1886-1988), a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, aspired to unite technology, science, and lifestyle in order to live in harmony with nature. An individual with many talents and interests, he was best known for his work in the field of color study and as a teacher and the founder of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco.
Born on a farm in Clare, Michigan in 1886, Rudolph Schaeffer displayed musical and artistic talent from a young age. Although he initially wanted to become a professional musician, he began focusing more on art when his musical abilities were compromised by an improperly set broken wrist. Schaeffer received his first formal art training as a high school student and then attended the Thomas Normal Training School in Detroit, where he studied music, art, and design. He continued studying independently, developing interests in calligraphy and metal craft.
In 1907, Schaeffer taught manual training courses in the Columbus, Ohio, public schools. The following summer he traveled to Paris and London. While in London he saw an exhibition of Josef Hoffman's modern interiors that had a great impact on his own design ideas. He then returned to Michigan and taught in schools close to home. In 1909, Schaeffer attended a design course in Minneapolis taught by A. E. Batchelder, director of Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena. Both Batchelder and his course were strong influences on Schaeffer, as was Ralph Johnot, a proponent of Arthur Wesley Dow's design principles. In 1910 Schaeffer joined the faculty of Throop Polytechnic Institute, where he remained for five years.
The U. S. Commission on Education selected Schaeffer to be part of a delegation of twenty-five American teachers sent to Munich for several months in 1914 to investigate the exemplary industrial design curriculum offered in their secondary schools. Schaeffer subsequently expected to begin teaching at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles at the start of the 1914 school year, but World War I erupted while he was in Germany and his return to the United States was delayed so long that another teacher had to be hired to fill his place.
In 1915 Schaeffer was a manual training instructor at the California College of Arts and Crafts (formerly the Hopkins School), and taught design and metal crafts at the University of California Berkeley. For a number of years afterwards, he did free lance design work, taught private classes, and ran a small summer school in his Piedmont studio. Schaeffer was a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1918 when he was drafted and sent to drafting and surveying courses by the Army. Between 1917 and 1924 Schaeffer was on the faculty of the California College of Arts and Crafts where he taught design, color, handicrafts, and interior design. During this period he developed a new approach to teaching color and design based on the prismatic color wheel.
During the early 1920s Schaeffer worked as a set designer and as Art Director of Greek Theatre at the University of California at Berkeley, Schaeffer began applying prismatic color theory to set and costume design. He also designed sets for productions in Detroit. In 1925, Schaeffer saw the Paris Exposition and researched interior and stage design while in France.
The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design which, in its early days was called the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Rhythmo-Chromatic Design, opened on St. Anne Street in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1926. In 1951 the school then moved to Union Street on Telegraph Hill where it remained for nearly a decade. In 1960, the school purchased a former boys' school on Mariposa Street, Portero Hill. Rudolph Schaeffer lived in a small cottage built for him at the rear of the property where he designed and tended a remarkable "Peace Garden."
The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was best known for its courses in color and interior design. Schaeffer was the first person in the United States to teach prismatic color theory, is credited with being the first to use the term "interior design" rather than "interior decoration" and the first to incorporate the use of models into interior design coursework. In 1959 the school's courses were expanded from 2 to 3-year programs and a diploma was awarded. Former students include many successful interior designers, textile designers, furniture designers, industrial designers, commercial artists, color consultants, teachers, and master flower arrangers.
In addition to the interior design and color diploma courses, the school offered a summer session, classes for children, a brief lecture series for the general public, and a wide variety of classes including advertising art, architecture and design, art history, art in public schools, calligraphy, color design, color for television, color for weavers, color theory, design, drawing, environmental aesthetics, fashion design, fashion illustration, flower arrangement, industrial design, interior design, Notan, sculpture, space planning, textile design, and weaving. Always struggling financially and sometimes lacking adequate enrollment, the school nevertheless managed to stay open for nearly 60 years. In 1984, the Board of Directors voted to remove Schaeffer from the board and close the school. Two years earlier the board had forced Schaeffer to retire, appointed him Director Emeritus, and brought in a new director charged with making the institution financially solvent, reorganizing the curriculum, and working toward accreditation. Unable to separate himself from the school (though he had done so legally when it was incorporated in 1953), Schaeffer balked and refused to cooperate with plans for revitalizing the institution.
One of the aims of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was to interpret Asian esthetic principles. To this end the East West Gallery was established at the school in 1950. A membership organization, it offered exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other programs that encouraged cultural integration. Exhibitions alternated between East (Asian art and artifacts from Rudolph Schaeffer's collection or other sources) and West (student work or work of local artists illustrating the influence of the Asian esthetic on contemporary art and design). East West Gallery was a membership organization, the first space of its kind in San Francisco for Asian art and operated in each of the school's locations.
In addition to running the school Schaeffer was involved in many other activities. He wrote several articles about flower arrangement, color, and color theory that were published in popular magazines. In 1935, he published Flower Arrangement Folio I (said to be the first on the subject published in this country) and in 1942 edited and wrote the introduction to Sunset's Flower Arrangement Book by Nell True Welch. Over a period of many years, he worked on several monographs on color, design, and "rhythmo-chromatics." None were ever published.
A sought-after speaker on the subjects of color, interior design, flower arrangement, and myriad other art topics, Schaeffer frequently served as a juror for art exhibitions and flower shows. From the 1930s on, the San Francisco department store Emporium used his services as a color consultant, as did Dutch Boy paints, and numerous textile and clothing manufacturers. Builders also asked Schaeffer to select interior and exterior colors for suburban housing developments.
Schaeffer worked on planning and designing the decorative arts exhibition at the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. In 1943-44, he participated in the Red Cross's Arts and Skills program, using color therapy with shell-shocked soldiers in a psychiatric unit.
The Rudolph Schaeffer Collection of Asian Art began as a collection of ceramics, both historical and contemporary examples chosen for their form and color, which he used for flower arrangements and in set-ups for still life classes. It soon expanded to include color prints, paintings, screens, and other works of art and portions were exhibited frequently in the East West Gallery. Selections from this collection were exhibited in Kansas City in 1960 and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in 1976.
The City of San Francisco declared June 26, 1986, Schaeffer's 100th birthday, "Rudolph Schaeffer Day" and it was observed with great fanfare. He died at home on March 5, 1988, a few months before his 102nd birthday.
The Rudolph Schaeffer papers were donated in 1991 by Rudolph Schaeffer and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design administrator Peter Docili, and in 1999 and 2000 by James Alexander, a friend of both Schaeffer and Docili, who had been storing portions of Docili's estate after his death in 1998, with the assistance of Frances Valesco, a fiber artist and researcher. An addition was received in 2007 by William Woodworth, a close friend and caretaker of Schaeffer's and in 2017 and 2018 by Frances Valesco.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings requires advance notice.
The Rudolph Schaeffer papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.